Budding filmmaker finishes first

Joey Large, Joey Large, and Joey Large

Five City College film production students were selected to participate in this year’s 10-10-10 student film making competition at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival.

Two filmmakers and three screenwriters were chosen based on previous work they submitted in November.

Among them was screenwriter Tracy Fisher, who won the best screenplay award for her script “Running Late.” The Festival awarded her a $1,000 gift certificate to Samy’s Camera.

The 10-10-10 competition pairs 10 screenwriters with 10 directors, who have the 10-day duration of the film festival to create a 10-minute short film. Half of the students come from local high schools, and the other half from local colleges.

“The pairing of screenwriters and filmmakers is done the same way that Hollywood is done,” said Roger Durling, executive director of the film festival. He added that sometimes they don’t get along.

Durling teaches part ime in the film program at City College, and is deeply involved in its success. He described City College as being integral to the whole 10-10-10 process.

“As far as junior colleges go, it’s probably the best program,” Fisher said of the City College Film Production program.

By chance, both City College filmmakers received scripts from City College writers. The theme of this year’s competition was “Legend,” which Durling said was just a point of inspiration.

Kerstin Catrin Hedstrom directed “Running Late,” and Sam Benenati directed Gregory Paarman’s script, “Legends Never Die.” Kevin Tran wrote “All-Time Quarterback,” which was directed by UCSB student Jon Catalano.

Each year students are provided with mentors, who are professionals in the film industry. The mentors work closely with the screenwriters, developing their scripts over two months’ time.

“(It’s a) great opportunity to be working with real, professional filmmakers,” Durling said.

Fisher credited much of her script’s success to the help of her mentor, Peter Seaman (“Who Framed Roger Rabbit,” “Shrek the Third.”)

“I can’t give enough thanks to my mentor,” she said. Fisher’s interest in screenwriting began a year ago, and while she is enthusiastic, she wants to focus on general education too.

Her favorite writers are Charlie Kaufman and Wes Anderson, and movies like “The Godfather” were her favorites growing up.